Some Footnotes on Protein Synthesis: A Note for the RNA Tie Club
In this privately circulated paper, Crick and Brenner refined Crick's original theory that amino acids are captured and
assembled into a polypeptide chain by adaptor molecules according to instructions provided by messenger RNA. The adaptor molecules
consisted of soluble RNA (called transfer RNA, or tRNA by the mid-1960s) and protein.
In the second part of the paper Crick and Brenner tried to resolve complications that arose from the assumption, then widely
held, that ribosomal RNA was the messenger. Especially puzzling was the fact that ribosomal RNA appeared in only two lengths,
whereas the polypeptide chains for which RNA coded were of widely varying lengths. Within two years, this complication was
resolved when it became clear that the ribosome was an inert head for reading off the sequence of bases on messenger RNA,
which in turn was identified as its own distinct form of RNA.
Number of Image Pages:
9 (2,153,179 Bytes)
1959-12 (December 1959)
Original Repository: Wellcome Library for the History and Understanding of Medicine. Francis Harry Compton Crick Papers